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Witness (1985)

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1:19 | Trailer
When a young Amish boy is sole witness to a murder, policeman John Book goes into hiding in Amish country to protect him until the trial.

Director:

Peter Weir

Writers:

William Kelley (story by), Pamela Wallace (story by) | 3 more credits »
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Popularity
2,591 ( 449)
Won 2 Oscars. Another 11 wins & 25 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Harrison Ford ... John Book
Kelly McGillis ... Rachel
Josef Sommer ... Schaeffer
Lukas Haas ... Samuel
Jan Rubes ... Eli Lapp
Alexander Godunov ... Daniel Hochleitner
Danny Glover ... McFee
Brent Jennings ... Carter
Patti LuPone ... Elaine
Angus MacInnes ... Fergie
Frederick Rolf Frederick Rolf ... Stoltzfus
Viggo Mortensen ... Moses Hochleitner
John Garson John Garson ... Bishop Tchantz
Beverly May Beverly May ... Mrs. Yoder
Ed Crowley ... Sheriff
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Storyline

An 8 year old Amish boy and his mother are traveling to Philadelphia, on their way to visit the mother's sister. While waiting at the train station, the young boy witnesses a brutal murder inside one of the bathroom stalls. Police detective John Book is assigned to investigate the murder of the man, who was a undercover cop. Soon after, Book finds out that he's in great danger when the culprits know about his investigation and hides out in the Amish community. There, he learns the way of living among the Amish locals, which consists of non-violence and agriculture. Book soon starts a romance with the mother of the little boy, but their romance is forbidden by the Amish standards. But, it's not long before the bad guys find out Book's whereabouts. Written by blazesnakes9

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

amish | murder | train | love | police | See All (92) »

Taglines:

Harrison Ford is John Book - A big city cop who knows too much. His only evidence: a small boy who's seen too much... See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | German

Release Date:

8 February 1985 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Called Home See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$12,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$4,539,990, 10 February 1985

Gross USA:

$68,706,993

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$68,706,993
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby (as Dolby Stereo)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Because the movie was filmed so close to Amish country, some felt the production was a disruption. See more »

Goofs

As stated in the script, Old-Order Amish people do not consider buttons "plain" and don't wear them. However, many times the Amish men are seen wearing button down shirts or vests. See more »

Quotes

Townsman: [Book, dressed in Amish clothes, has just finished severely beating a local youth who was harassing Daniel Hochleitner] Never seen anything like it in all my years!
Daniel Hochleitner: He's from Ohio, my cousin.
Townsman: Well, them Ohio Amish must be... different. Around here, the brethren don't have any of that kinda fight in 'em! Good day to you, Mr. Lapp! This ain't good for the tourist trade, you know! Tell that to your Ohioan friend!
See more »

Crazy Credits

The closing shot of John Book, driving away in his car passing Daniel provides an initial backdrop for the end credits. See more »

Alternate Versions

In the VHS version, just after John Book is shot, we see a close-up of his gun and a voice-over from an earlier conversation Book had with the captain. We hear the words: "Who else knows about this? "Just you and me." In the DVD version, we see the close-up of the gun and then it segues to Book's sister waking up Rachel and her son Samuel, minus the voice-over. See more »

Connections

Referenced in A Passage thru Pamela (1985) See more »

Soundtracks

(What a) Wonderful World
(1959)
Written by Sam Cooke, Herb Alpert and Lou Adler
Performed by Greg Chapman
Courtesy of Abkco Music, Inc.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

'Witness' is a remarkably intelligent movie!
29 November 2002 | by microfxSee all my reviews

Won Oscars for Best Writing, Screenplay Written Directly for the Screen, and Best Editing. Nominated for five more Oscars including Best Picture, Best Actor, Harrison Ford, and Best Director Peter Weir. Weir Directed the 'The Year of Living Dangerously', and 'The Truman Show'. After seeing it maybe 10 times, I find it is one of those infrequent stories that still draws my attention. This places it in the company of pictures like 'The Godfather', and some others which stand the test of repeat viewings over time. Kelly McGillis is the film's intelligent and talented secret weapon. Her performance makes me wonder where she is these days. She is an Amish widow from a rural Amish community. On a trip to the city her little boy witnesses a murder in the restroom of a train station. Police investigator Harrison Ford finds himself targeted along with the boy by corrupt cops in his unit that did the murder. He is hurt in a shootout and hides with the Amish. He wears Amish clothes, and labors with the men of the community as he rebuilds his strength. An attraction naturally develops between the McGillis and Ford charactors. The chemistry is remarkably intelligent, and authentically portrayed. Their worlds are seperated by a cultural gulf. They are drawn by each other, and respect one another. The contrasts are drawn clearly between the quaint honesty and almost dreamlike serenity of the Amish, and the horrible violence intruding upon them from the outside world. The resolution of the story should not be given away to someone who has not seen the movie. This film is a different kind of thriller in more ways than one. It's makers kept it intelligent, instead of resorting to another pyrotechnic joyride. -Robert Hartman-


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